Growing up, we never called today Mardi Gras. It was always Fat Tuesday. I don’t remember ever being exposed to king cake or gumbo or purple, gold, & green. It wasn’t a day to eat beans and rice, it was a day to eat meat, chocolate, and ice cream. Now I like calling it Shrove Tuesday (named for the fact that you traditionally went to be “shriven” today — aka went to confession).
In Britain, today is known as Pancake Day. I didn’t know this until visiting my friend Alice in London. When she realized the group of us were going to be visiting her the week Lent started, she flipped out about “Pancake Day” and how great it was that we were going to be there for Pancake Day. She later explained that it’s tradition to eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday because pancakes would use up all your sugar, fat, flour, and eggs before fasting during Lent. Of course, their pancakes aren’t like American pancakes – they’re thin like crepes and best eaten with lemon and sugar.
My friend Liza decided we needed pancakes today. But since I’m not planning on giving up flour and eggs and sugar for Lent, I decided to pre-game our pancake dinner with a more Fat Tuesday-esque treat — Sweet Cece’s.
They even had Thin Mints on the “salad bar” of toppings today.
For dinner, Liza, Maria, and Manda and I headed to Loveless Cafe, which was the only place in town we knew we could get both pancakes and alcohol. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m giving up alcohol for Lent, but it just seemed like something you should consume on Fat Tuesday.
I splurged (it is Fat Tuesday, after all) and got the bbq and eggs, something I always wanted to get at Loveless but just couldn’t see eating for breakfast. There was a corncake at the bottom of it all, so that sufficed for my pancake. I was planning on getting beer to drink… until I saw that they had moonshine. That seemed like a much better option for a Tennessee Fat Tuesday. They had a variety of moonshine drinks, but both Manda and I chose “Harvest Moon” — Moonshine and peach sweet tea. It was delicious!
See that mini Mason jar? That’s what the moonshine came in, and I got to keep it as a little souvenir. Adorable.
All in all, a good Shrove Tuesday.
Bring on Lent — I’m ready now!